Differential diagnosis of complications of esophageal atresia



Approach to the differential diagnosis of complications of esophageal atresia (EA):

  • Aspiration pneumonia in H-type EA is a common presentation of this form of EA
  • Long gap between atretic segments can make surgical correction difficult
  • Tracheomalacia can develop due to long standing compression of the trachea by the dilated proximal esophageal pouch


  • Anastomotic leak can develop immediately after surgery
  • Stricture can develop at anastomosis and worsen over time with +/- impacted food at anastomosis
  • Recurrent fistula can develop any time after surgery
  • Dysmotility of distal esophagus causes delayed esophageal emptying
  • Distal esophageal stricture due to chronic gastroesophageal reflux